Sunday 29 October 2023

Mixed Bag

In the morning I pre baited my river "bream swim" with about a dozen big balls of groundbait with mixed seed and sweetcorn. The river was still pushing through a bit hard, but the colour was just about perfect.

I returned in the afternoon and half heartedly fished a few other swims before settling down in the baited pitch. Nothing. Not a twitch, so I moved up and down the stretch searching for a bite.

It seemed dead, but this section is not exactly heaving with fish, so not it was not entirely unexpected. 

Oh, the photo above ? Chubby you say ? The chub didn't think so today. 

Back in THE swim and after a short while, a bite ! A nice chub and one who had been gorging on the sweetcorn. 

That's more like it.

As the flow was so quick I used a dropper to get the bait down in the right spot and next cast I was in to a fish that could only be a carp. It fought long and hard and when I netted it I was disappointed to see it was a poor old bugger, ottered and no doubt an escapee from a lake in the recent floods.

More bait introduced, but no further action until dusk, when, as the sky cleared and the mist rolled down into the valley, several fish rolled close in.

A huge full moon rose over the far bank alders throwing out shadows over the flood plain. The tip knocked twice and pulled round, resulting in a smallish bream.

My now it was a bit chilly, I was hungry and there was rugby on TV, so I packed up and headed home.

I'm not going to be breaking any records on the lower river, but it's local, scenic and unfished so ticks alot of boxes for me.

You'll not be surprised to know that I'm going back this evening for another go.

Thursday 26 October 2023

Big Perch

Throughout the 90s and early 2000s I did alot of fishing for big perch.

I had four small waters with two miles of the house that produced fish for me between 2lb 13 oz and a monstrous 4lb 8oz.

They were all really small waters, the biggest being about 1.5 acres and the smallest barely half an acre.

Most of the fish came to decent sized livebaits ( 2 or 3 oz, with perch being best bait ). Plenty on lobs too.

There was one water where dead outfished lives, the only water I've ever experienced this.

One day I'd been fishing lives all morning and for some reason half heartedly tried a dead. Within a short while the float slipped away and a two pounder was in the net.

I finished the day with seven over 2lb, with six to deads and only one to a livebait. This happened again on the next two trips and after that I rarely used lives.

We had dozens of three pounders including a couple from two different rivers.

On my mates little canal like lake we were livebaiting when the float slid away and I was into a clonking fish of 3lb 12oz. Next cast the livebait was hit again and the rod hooped round as what was surely a record breaking perch surged down the lake ( there are no pike in here ). It felt bloody massive and no, I didn't lost it.

It went just over 7lbs. Unfortunately it was a carp. On a perch livebait ! Believe it or not I also had a rudd over 2lb on a sizeable livebait from this water too.

It's been a long while since I had one over 3lb. None of the waters we fished during this time produce fish as big and to be honest I haven't got a clue where to start locally any more.

I am looking though. Ideally a river and ideally not fished by anybody. And while we're at it fish to 4lb plus. We can dream.

Watch this space.

Thursday 19 October 2023

Keeping It Looocal

Forecast was rain and wind, so I sacked off work and went fishing on "The Big Stillwater".

Two pike rods out while I concentrated on the feeder.

I was fishing a deep section, at 35-40 yards I had over twenty five feet of water. Half dozen big feeders of bait and I was fishing. Lazily, I was only winding in when I got a bite.

Couple of small roach at first, then the bream moved in. Decent ones too, averaging around 5lb. I ended up with nine of similar size.

It was ridiculously mild for late October at around 18 degrees and I sat sheltered from the wind in a T shirt. The forecast rain never arrived.

The pike rods remained motionless until I packed up in the afternoon. 

A pleasant lazy day.

Tuesday 17 October 2023


Been a busy time with the old folks in decline, not nice to see to say the least. No chance of getting on the road in the camper for a while yet.

Nights quickly drawing in now, first frost the other day, ahhhhh shit in a bag and punch it.

I'd forgotten about being cold and how I hate the early darkness. Bollocks.

Anyway.....Nice bit of rain the other day and the local river had a bit of flow. Not a proper flood but it washed away the duckweed at least.

I'd put a bit of bait in the bream spot I fished last winter. I'm interested to see if there's a really big one somewhere. Also, when you bait with a load of mixed seed, the fish root around so much that most of the summer weed and crap gets washed off the bottom, which makes good presentation much easier.

Today I had an hour at dusk to see if there was much about. It was a bit nippy, a nasty easterly wind giving it a wintery feel.

A few trembles on the quiver on the first couple of casts gave me some hope whilst I trickled in some hemp and corn. After half hour or so I got a roachy rattle which morphed into a steady pull and the first river bream of the season was on. It pulled surprisingly well and turned out to be a nice fish of just over 5lb in absolutely immaculate condition.

That'll do for starters.

As is usual here, as soon as you catch one it seems to spook the rest. I gave it half an hour before packing up in the encroaching gloom and walked back towards the twinkling lights of the village.